Administrative Issues

Phoenix Pay System Problems Impacting National Defence Employees

  • National Defence is working with Public Services and Procurement Canada to ensure that civilian employees are paid promptly and appropriately.
  • National Defence has taken clear steps to improve our response to phoenix pay issues impacting our civilian employees:
    • We increased departmental capacity within the compensation team.
    • We established a virtual call centre to resolve pay and technical issues.
    • We issued salary advances.
    • And we provided training to all staff on the pay system.
  • Our investments have steadily reduced the backlog by 48%.
  • We remain fully engaged to ensure all civilian employees receive their correct pay in a timely manner.

Key Facts

  • Increased departmental capacity within the compensation team to a planned 320 FTEs by March 2020.
  • 20,554 National Defence employees remain affected by Phoenix-related issues.
  • Since April 1, 2018, the backlog has been reduced by 48%.
  • 37,533 cases have been resolved.

Strong, Secure, Engaged

“Defence civilians face different demands than many of their public service counterparts, and Defence is committed to meeting their needs accordingly.”

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada maintains the Phoenix pay system, which remains the primary provider for pay services in Government. The Phoenix pay system was implemented in February 2016 to administer pay for approximately 300,000 employees across 101 federal organizations.
  • To mitigate growing pay issues, National Defence is increasing departmental capacity within the compensation team to approximately 320 positions by the end of 2020. This is also supplemented by a virtual contact center, as well as staff co-located at the Public Services and Procurement Canada Pay Centre to address the backlog.
  • National Defence officials, including the Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Ministers, and Directors General, are fully engaged in the inter-departmental governance co-chaired by the Treasury Board Secretariat and Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Allegations that National Defence Restricts Public/Media Access to Information

  • This Government is committed to openness and transparency.
  • Compliance with the access to information and privacy acts is a key component of our commitment to share information with the public and the press.
  • This is why National Defence increased the number of staff currently processing requests so as to respond more quickly.
  • We are also working closely with the Information Commissioner to improve National Defence’s processes through training and greater oversight.
  • These changes will help ensure we meet our obligations as prescribed by the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

If pressed on the Office of the Information Commissioner investigation into National Defence

  • National Defence is fully collaborating with the Office of the Information Commissioner.
  • The investigation is still ongoing and we look forward to the final findings and recommendations from the Information Commissioner.
  • We have already taken concrete actions to implement recommendations in order to improve compliance with the Act.

Key Facts

  • Since 2011-2012, National Defence has ranked in the top five departments for highest volume of access to information requests received.
  • National Defence has received 16% more requests in 20182019, compared to the previous year.
  • National Defence has closed 29% more requests, despite the higher volume; and
  • 61% of these requests were closed within the required timeframes last year – the highest rate in 4 years.

Strong, Secure, Engaged

“The Canadian Armed Forces will always ensure that the collection, analysis and use of information is done in accordance with the law, and recognizes the importance of civilian review of national security and intelligence activities, including through the new National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians.”

  • National Defence has a dedicated team responsible for coordinating requests made under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. National Defence has increase the number of staff in this team, including establish a dedicated team to address the backlog and accelerate fulfilling requests for Access to Information and the Privacy Act.
  • In 2018-19, National Defence received a total of 143 complaints from the Office of the Information Commissioner, compared to 173 received last reporting period.

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